PITTSBURGH — Many WPIAL soccer fans were probably banking on the Class 4A boys final between Seneca Valley and Norwin to be a low-scoring game.
The Raiders shattered those expectations and their onslaught began just seconds into Saturday's contest.
Junior forward Luke Rupert dealt the Knights a quick deficit by scoring in the first minute of play. It was the first of three goals scored in the first half by the Raiders, who went on to thump Norwin, 5-2, at Highmark Stadium.
It is the most goals scored by one team in a WPIAL boys championship game, in any class, since Peters Township defeated Upper St. Clair 5-1 to claim the Class 3A title in 2014.
“We weren't expecting things to happen the way they did,” said SV coach George Williams. “We knew Norwin had a tough road to get here. They're a strong team and we respect them.”
It is the first district title earned by SV's boys. Their only other appearance in the final came in 2016 when SV fell to North Allegheny.
Saturday's victory was long-awaited for by Williams, who took over the program in 1995. But he deflected the attention toward his players.
“We are very lucky, very blessed to have the players we do,” he said. “I give them all the credit. There's nobody that believes he's better than anyone else. It's a true team.
“To see how proud and excited they are, it's great.”
Rupert's early tally, his first of two on the day, came with just 38 seconds gone from the clock.
“Everyone was bunched up at the top of the box, at 18 yards out,” he said. “I was about six yards in front of that and figured I'd take my shot and see what happened.”
The Knights found themselves facing a rare early hole and things were about to go from bad to worse for them.
In the 14th minute of play, A.J. Mills scored for a 2-0 edge. The Knights answered with Carter Breen's score two minutes later, but the momentum gained was fleeting.
Just 46 seconds after closing the gap, the Knights were again down by two goals thanks to a goal from SV's Jackson Wotus.
“Getting down early like we did was not something we planned for,” said Norwin coach Scott Schuchert. “There's usually a feeling-out period when teams are used to defending more than attacking, but Seneca Valley got opportunities and they capitalized on them.”